Thanks to my Facebook friend Dustin Siggins for today's movie review.
"Hacksaw Ridge" is a tremendous movie of courage under literal and figurative fire. It stars Andrew Garfield as Seventh-Day Adventist, Army medic, and conscientious objector Desmond Doss, who became the first person to win the Medal of Honor for reasons besides combat action.
The movie succeeds in highlighting a man who braved pressure and torment from his fellow soldiers -- before facing down gunfire from the enemy -- to save 75 soldiers in 12 hours during one of (if not the) the bloodiest battles of World War II.
The movie does have its issues. It is excessively gory, with at least 20 minutes of what one friend would call "violence porn" that offsets the great visual effects seen in those same scenes.
Additionally, Vince Vaughn struggles in the role of Basic Training Drill Sergeant, and while flashbacks to Doss' childhood provide an appropriate backdrop to his beliefs against violence, they are often awkwardly inserted.
The most powerful scenes in the movie might be:
- When Doss saves multiple Japanese soldiers in addition to his own men; and
- When the unit refuses to re-engage in battle until Doss, who they had previously mocked and declared their weakest member, finishes praying for them.
Dustin Siggins is Associate Editor for The Stream and a public relations consultant.
He previously served as the public relations officer and DC Correspondent for LifeSiteNews, and has been widely published on important issues of public policy and culture. Follow him on Twitter: @DustinSiggins
Catch other mini-reviews by selecting the Movies link in the menu bar above.